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Reading: On the Meaning of Exhibitions – Exhibition Epistèmes in a Historical Perspective

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On the Meaning of Exhibitions – Exhibition Epistèmes in a Historical Perspective

Author:

Kerstin Smeds

University of Umeå, Sweden, SE
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Abstract

This essay aims at contributing to our understanding of the nature of exhibitions, namely how and why we make them, and what they – and the things in them – might symbolize. My focus will be on exhibitions of objects in classical museums of cultural history, archaeology and ethnology/ethnography. I will discuss how scientific epistemologies and discourses, as well as the history of ideas and ideologies, are reflected in the way museums and exhibitions are organized. Theoretically, I will lean on ideas of Michel Foucault presented in his work The Order of Things (Foucault, 1991) and Power/Knowledge (Gordon 1980), but also on Mieke Bal’s Double Exposures (1996), and a few others.
DOI: http://doi.org/10.2478/dfl-2014-0004
How to Cite: Smeds, K. (2012). On the Meaning of Exhibitions – Exhibition Epistèmes in a Historical Perspective. Designs for Learning, 5(1-2), 50–73. DOI: http://doi.org/10.2478/dfl-2014-0004
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Published on 01 Dec 2012.
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